How To Uncover Your Passion
Why having a passion makes you a better human being — How to find yours — (and why it’s alright if you don’t have one right now)
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At first sight, having a passion in life seems to be easy since many people do have one. But don’t be fooled into thinking that a passion has naturally (or magically) occurred to them, or that a passion was given to them the moment they were born, like a blessing. That’s not an innate aptitude, that’s an acquired one. In fact, a passion can grow inside of anyone, regardless of age, and even if you don’t have one yet. So, if you’d like to know how to find and develop your passion, keep reading! Everyone has a passion inside, it just need to be uncovered, and I’ll help you with that. If you’re often bored by the environment you’re in or if you find yourself not knowing what to do to excite yourself, then you’re ready to chase your passion! You’ll meet plenty of interesting people on the way, so let’s go!
A passion is something that fills you up, that excites you, day after day. It makes you happy when you do it or even just when you talk about it. It energises you in the morning and keeps you up at night. It makes you meet amazing people who share the same passion. It’s also distinct from a simple interest given the intensity of the feelings it creates. One is not always passionate about things that interest her, but people are always, AL-WAYS, interested in what they’re passionate about. So, a passion is stronger than a simple interest. So, whether you have too many interest but no passion, or too few interest, you’re at the right place. Given all the benefits, everybody would love having a passion.
“Somehow your passion is your best friend: spending time with it regularly will keep you happy!” Anonymous.
Why it’s completely normal to not have a passion (yet)
Most people found their passion during their teenage years, so they had to live without a passion during many years. Some figured it out years later. Some even found their passion in their 50's or 60's. One thing I want to stress is that, regardless your age, a passion sleeps inside of you and waits to be unveiled. Everybody can have a passion! And it’s completely normal to not have a passion at some point of your life. 100% of the world’s population tried different experiences before finding their passion. Most of them had no clue what it was going to be. I personally didn’t find my first passion until age 22 (photography) and my second passion until age 28 (plants).
6 Steps to chase and find your passion
“A passion is born when learning how to do something by yourself makes you happy.” Anonymous.
1. Do what you love. Do more of the things that excites you. What do you enjoy doing the most? Can it be done on a regular basis? If not, can you write about it or film it or draw it or whatever? If it can’t be done on a regular basis, can you find something related? Follow your guts when they tell you: “I’m enjoying this” or “I like to do that”. Do less of the things that you don’t like. They pollute your vision and can affect your mental.
2. Create something. Usually, passion implies creating something or achieving something. It’s the ground where self-achievement and creativity express themselves. Ask yourself what objects, products, sensations or places around you inspire you? What is beautiful, amazing or unique around you? Is it a pair of designer shoes, a fragrance, a special taste, a memory, a landscape, a home garden? Try to define what’s so special about it. Do you like how buildings are shaped, how leather feels, how metal is forged or how movies/videos are cut and produced? Noticing that something is beautiful or unique is a sign of a growing interest. Perhaps you could try to create your own [this] or your own [that] (replace by whatever you find beautiful or unique)? Put yourself in the shoes of the creators of the objects or places you love. Imagine one second that, at some point, they were a beginner in designing, writing or creating their work/art. So, why not starting your first now? Getting started is the most difficult step, after that you’ll get hooked in the game. You can only be proud of yourself if you created your first piece of work or art, no matter how simple it is. Also, think about creative activities that you always had loved to be good at. Why not giving a go at digital design, choir singing, videography, pottery, drone-racing or gardening, light painting, zumba dancing or creative writing? I personally have tried many different things and it was always a really fun and valuable experience. Even though everything didn’t turn out to be a passion, it always was a privileged moment, during which I turned off my analytical brain, forgot about my worries and daily life issues and let my body do it for me. Doing something creative is a very rewarding activity that always generates a sensation of serenity and joy. Also, check art, fashion and design university programs to get an overview of the entire spectrum of the creative realm! It’s limitless! Plus, check your town/city’s association program to have an idea of what classes/workshops are given around you. Again, workshops are a great way to give something a go without having to commit on the long run, so it’s perfect to just try things out and be with other beginners.
3. Give yourself some “me-time”. Most of the time, people that haven’t identified a vibrant passion actually do have various interests. So why only interests but not passion? The main obstacle to having a passion is usually not a lack of curiosity, it’s the over-crowding of information and tasks that floods our life and senses. Being under pressure, feeling stressed, constantly being doing chores or repetitive tasks prevents us from fully exploring the things we love. Especially if you’re someone with a professional attitude and who always wants to do things well for others, like your boss, your partner or your kids. The lack of time and attention to yourself (as opposed to attention to others or external things like work) is the #1 underlying reason why people haven’t identified their passion yet. If you recognise yourself there, don’t worry, because you’re just one step away from finding your passion. You’re already on the right track!
4. What would you like to do if you had an infinite amount of time or money? If the answer to this is too generic or impossible to achieve in the short-term, try to decompose it into smaller bits or something very concrete that you can start doing easily. Example: “If I had time, I’d travel around the world!”. That one would be really exciting, but it requires planning, time and money. Once decomposed into smaller bits:
- Travelling around the world starts by getting outside your home/your city. Research places around your house, around your city or in your country that are unique, that were mentioned in the news or that sparked your interest for some reason. If you have absolutely no idea, just go out for an exploratory walk/drive and open your eyes: where do you think people are going to? To the gym? To practice some cool sport? To go out in nature? To play some amazing instrument? To shoot a video scene? To create something with their hands? To a workshop, a lab, a garage, a studio, a library, a hackathon, a motorbike race? A stadium?
- Travelling around the world means discovering other cultures or people. So visit museums, shop at the Sunday markets, go to the library store or the book store (WHSmith, Waterstones) and check out the different magazines/book categories. What are you naturally interested in? Read the first and last page of several books to get an idea. Anything you want to try out?
- Travelling around the world means eating different food and seeing different landscapes. Find a wine/coffee/beer/…-tasting experience or just walk to the highest place near you and find out what the landscape is about.
- These are just examples of how decomposing your general idea helps you find things that you can easily do, as a starting point in your journey towards finding your passion.
5. What were you good at as a child? What did you try earlier in your life that you’ve abandoned because of constraints, like work or family? Give it a second chance, as, often times, our passions are intimately connected with your childhood and with what we were used to do as a child. Childhood is also a good indication of where to look for your passion.
6. Experience new things. If you have really no idea of where to start chasing your passion, you’ll have to experience new things. Workshops are a great way to give something a go without having to commit on the long run, so it’s perfect to just try things out and be with other beginners. Other option is to ask a friend what’s her passion. Tell her that next time she practises, you’d like to join her to discover something new. When picking a totally new experience, you might feel a bit reluctant to become a beginner again, but don’t worry, people actually love to see beginners as it reminds them when they actually started. So just give a go at ice-skating, rock-climbing, wine tasting, web-designing or anything that comes across and seems attractive or new to you. Once you’re there, explain your motivation in simple words, for example by telling people that it’s a first-timer and that you’re really excited to discover. Learn about the rules, the people, the equipment. If you got a chance, ask who are the champions of the activity or the films that embodies the field the best. You must also ask about what you have to do to get started. Asking a few simple questions will open your scope of interests, extend your knowledge and you’ll be able to relate to these people even more. In the worst case, this activity won’t become your passion, but at least you’ll relate more to the people who love it, and will be able to socialise better with this community of people. In the worst case, you just increased your network and general knowledge. If you’re just scared to do it for some reason, because of the unknown or because of being a first-timer, do it gradually; but remember that once you’ve done it, it was not that difficult to jump! The unknown is always a bit daunting, but in the end, you’ll be so proud of yourself for having tried! If they can do it why not you? Maybe you’ll actually be good at it!
To sum it all up, in order to clearly identify your passion, here are the 6 keys: do what you love (1), create something (2), give yourself some “me-time” (3), what would you do with infinite resources? (4), what were you good at as a child (5) and experience new things (6). In other words, you must put some skin in the game! You have to give things a go and keep experimenting new things until you find the best ones, the ones that resonate the most inside of you. You can ignore those which didn’t make you feel especially excited. As a result, if you don’t have a passion yet, but you’re experimenting different activities and you’re keeping your curiosity for things up, then you’re on the right track. Remember, you’ll find what your passion is faster if you physically try new experiences with people. Finding your passion is a journey and is not something that comes instantly, so give yourself time and keep looking! You never know when you’ll have your “AHA!” moment!
Make some space for your passion
See a passion as a resourceful place, like a water well, where you can go when you need an energy and inspiration fix. People say that a passion fills you up entirely and that you “live and breathe” your passion, which is true, but it also requires space and time. Therefore, it’s essential to create space in your life to be able to host your future passion. One of the main reasons for not having found your passion yet is that you were too busy taking care of other things. Your passion deserves having a full access to yourself. If you’re agenda is filled with low-value activities or repetitive tasks (working, housekeeping, looking after children, cooking for family…), your persona ends up forgetting about your passion. This puts you in a state where you’re mostly existing but not living up to your full potential. I know that some of these tasks are in fact to be done, so you’ll need to find a system to free up some of your time. Hire a nanny, ask for a backup or just put your phone on Flight mode during a few hours to be fully focused on the present moment.
Neuro-scientists have found that practising something with passion activates regions of the brain that are responsible for creativity, cognitive intelligence and endorphin release, which are the hormones that make us feel happy and galvanised. So make sure that every week at least (every day is the target) contains a time slot that is only for yourself. Give yourself some ”me time”! You don’t have to know what you’ll do during this time, just block it and make sure that everyone around you knows it (including your boss or family), so that they don’t interfere with it. Usually people understand the “me-time” concept pretty well, so they should try to accommodate. If you think that your family or work colleagues cannot live or do their job without you, you’re wrong, that’s just another misconception. So, delegate these tasks to someone else, it will be beneficial to of both as you’ll show that you have trust in their abilities to back you up. What your boss or family need the most is for you to be in your best shape, giving the best side of yourself. Did you know that having a passion can refill your batteries in less than 30 minutes, so go for it every time you can. It will make you feel better, and you will become a better human being, colleague, mother, father, husband, wife, son, daughter, girlfriend, boyfriend etc.
“Having a passion and exercising it is the only thing that is both really important and really urgent in your life!” Anonymous.
To host your passion successfully, you’ll have to do some clean up in your life habits. It means clearing yourself off from distractions and passive activities, those activities in which you’re not fully involved. If you’re passively watching videos on YouTube all evening just because you don’t know better, then that’s a distraction. If you’re spending hours and hours at the pub/bar but don’t feel really excited about the conversations, maybe that’s just a habit you’ve taken, but that’s not benefiting yourself so much. Try and identify the distractions in your life!
Passion & purpose
People having a passion have an inner energy, a powerful driver that guides them throughout the events of life. Passion often comes with a dream (“Imagine we could go to Mars”) and/or a concrete objective (“Be #1 in my sport in my region”). This is because people having a passion are obsessed with it, obsessed with getting better at it or with becoming more knowledgeable about it. Once you’ve found it, setting an objective for your passion is the next step for you to grow with it. For more extensive advice on how to set goals, you can refer to Benjamin P. Hardy. In a nutshell, setting a goal for yourself is like being on a boat in the middle of the ocean, knowing exactly where the destination is and doing everything to get there, no matter how much work or time it would take, regardless the weather. It helps canalise your energy and focus on the right things. On the contrary, people who don’t have a passion are also on a boat in the same ocean, but they don’t know where to go next. In the best case they go with the stream or tide and live with what comes to them. In the worst case they’re at a standstill and they’re more vulnerable. The boat that has a goal will go further, faster. That’s the first key to Success.
Passion, the surest way to Success
Finally, if you’re after success in life, start with focusing on your passion, as it’s the first and surest way to become successful. Whoever you are, whether you’re a husband, a wife, a sister, a brother, an entrepreneur, a partner, an employee, a daughter or a son, you’re a human being that has a passion sleeping inside of you. Help it grow within you and you’ll achieve your full potential!